thing 40: ‘skies of couple-colour’: St Hilda’s Way, part (ii)

Two moulded plastic chairs, one grey, one a sort of institution pinky orange, stood in front of Hilda’s spring; another lay on its side at a distance away, under a tree. The grey one was covered with flies. The chairs were that low budget, stacking sort: curved, with metal legs, and a cut out section at the base of the back which is, I suppose, designed to make lifting and stacking easier but which my young self, at primary school, believed to be a vent to let the farts out.

There was something oddly touching (more…)

thing 40: ‘today is ours, and today alone’: St Hilda’s Way, part (i)

“It’s a high-risk activity,” the doctor I’d never met told me, down the phone. The man was a stranger and here I was having to talk to him about cramps and diarrhoea so that he could pronounce sagely about the potential for me shitting myself in a field. That’s a possibility? You don’t say.

But St Hilda’s Way had been beckoning for months. We’d booked hotel rooms, consulted local bus timetables, contemplated sawing (more…)

thing 39: ‘what could I do but laugh and go?’: Segwaying

A friend at Cambridge once described me as the only person she knew who would use the word adjunct in a normal sentence.

The same friend noted, one time we went cycling, that I somehow managed to maintain pretty much the same speed whether I was going uphill or down. I’d love to believe this was because I could power up hills with steel-thighed speed, but really I know (more…)

not really a Thing… but exciting

Some definitions:

Poetry: ‘what makes the invisible appear’ (according to Nathalie Sarraute); ‘the revelation of the self to the self’ (Ted Hughes).

Hope: a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.

Fear: an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm.

Ambivalence: the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

And… (more…)

thing 38: ‘all experience is an arch’: the spirituality of travel

I’m lucky enough to be able to say that Grasmere’s not a long way away for me. Pretty much all year round, though, getting up into the Lakes on a Friday involves crawling along in traffic (and though I can’t really blame people for wanting to drink it all in, that doesn’t mean I don’t blame them, vociferously, in the privacy of my own car). (more…)